NASA okays asteroid hunting space telescope mission | Tech News

NASA okays asteroid hunting space telescope mission

NASA has given a two-year mission extension to its Asteroid hunting space telescope after a successful review.

| Updated on: Jul 18 2022, 16:06 IST
All you may want to know about the extended mission of NASA Asteroid Hunting Space Telescope. (NASA)

After carrying out a review of its Asteroid Hunting Space Telescope mission, NASA has given its permission to proceed further considering it has been moving swiftly so far and may even exceed expectations. As per the information provided, the infrared space telescope is designed to help boost NASA's planetary defence efforts by expediting their ability to discover and characterize most of the potentially hazardous asteroids and comets said to be within 30 million miles of Earth's orbit, Such objects are collectively known as near-earth objects, or NEOs.

According to the Data collected by NASA, after the completion of the goal to discover 90 percent of all NEOs larger than 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) in size in 2010, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-155) directed NASA to discover 90 percent of NEOs larger than 140 meters (459 feet) in size. Also Read: Nasa's James Webb Telescope now hunts for aliens!

The agency is working to achieve this directive and has currently found approximately 40 percent of near-Earth asteroids within this size range.

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Here is what Kelly Fast, program manager for NASA's NEO Observations Program, had to say about the mission, “Each night, astronomers across the globe diligently use ground-based optical telescopes to discover new NEOs, characterize their shape and size, and confirm they do not pose a threat to us. ” Also Read: Giant sunspot set to fire solar flares and they may be directed at Earth

She further added, “Those telescopes are only able to look for NEOs in the night sky. NEO Surveyor would allow observations to continue day and night, specifically targeting regions where NEOs that could pose a hazard might be found and accelerate the progress toward the Congressional goal.”

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First Published Date: 18 Jul, 16:06 IST